A MEMBER of staff who works at an estate agency in Ilminster is currently walking across the Sahara Desert to raise funds for a charity that helps “people whose lives have been torn apart by addiction”.

This week, Sophi Unwin, who works as a residential negotiator at Greenslade Taylor Hunt Ilminster office, is undertaking a huge challenge walking across 100km of Morocco’s stunning Sahara Desert in a bid to raise funding for Nelsons Trust.

Sophi left on Saturday and started her challenge yesterday (Monday, November 6).

She decided to step out of her comfort zone and face the challenge after realising that during the Covid pandemic and the lockdown many people were “at the mercy of addiction”.

Sophi, who also has a Just Giving page, said: "The heat of the desert and the distance to cover, as well as embarking on this without my normal accompaniment of established and supportive friends, will certainly present itself as something I have never before taken on, but will feel such a huge sense of achievement to accomplish.

“2023 started for me with an overwhelming desire to achieve something totally out of my comfort zone and raise some money for a great cause at the same time."

"I will never forget at the beginning of lockdown being made aware of the situation of so many people who felt total fear at the prospect of being ‘locked down’ in their houses with their addicted partners or, themselves, at the mercy of addiction and how they were going to cope without the support they so needed.

“For me personally, lockdown was a total treat but such a different story for so many.

“After serious consideration and exploration, I have chosen to raise money for The Nelson Trust, a wonderful charity local to the area I live in, which brings belief, hope, and long-term recovery to people whose lives have been torn apart by addiction and the multiple and complex needs that come with it."

Sophi is self-funding this trip and will be donating 100 per cent of the funds raised to this cause.